About 60 people (only of which three or four were female) crammed into a tiny room near Red Lion Square last night for the London DotNet Users Group meeting. I have no idea what the normal turnout rate is, though I guess the topic (TDD) probably drew quite a lot of people. Three people presented and the meeting ran for a total of three hours until 9:30pm at which point, we left for the pub and stayed until closing.
The three presenters for the evening and the topics included:
- Zi Makki: TDD and the Data Access Layer
- Sebastien Lambla: The MVP pattern
- Ian Cooper: Best Practices for TDD
The first presenter covered some techniques for dealing with integration points with a database. I noticed that he used Coderush (all those bright colours and arrows hurts my eyes!) instead of Resharper though I think he was using VS2008. It seems that Coderush also lacks a way of extracting a class into a file for a different assembly or at least it wasn’t used. I’m pleased the presenter used BDD styled should as I’ve found these help focus the person writing the test. He finished with some very useful tips though I was worried by one of his final statements, “Avoid Integration Tests”. I think as a principle, fine. For someone in the early stages of learning TDD (think of the Shu in the Shu Ha Ri), it’s a dangerous blanket statement they may follow as integration tests can be useful points of feedback as well.
The second presenter talked about the Model View Presenter Pattern although after seeing his implementation, and I think it is probably more an example of both the Supervising Controller and the Presentation Model. I find it interesting to see how far Sebastien pushed the databinding features of ASP.Net. It’s given me some thought about how I might actually give databinding another real chance. I’m really interested to see how this works in an update mode in this same world. I also learned here that the Macbook Air isn’t great for doing presentations where you need to write code (the buttons are too small!)
The final presenter, Ian Cooper talked over lots of best practices around Test Driven Development. Ian has plenty of great things to say and one of my only issues was that there was probably far too much content on the slides to cover in just an hour.
One of the other topics that wasn’t covered and I think is important for newbies to TDD is understanding when to or when not to use it. As I wrote in a previous post, if you’re doing TDD all the time, you’re doing something wrong.
I really enjoyed talking to other people who went along and I’ll definitely be back again sometime.